Gateshead College Principal Judith new business growth board appointment

Gateshead College Principal and Chief Executive Judith Doyle has been appointed to the North East LEP’s Business Growth Board to represent the further education sector.

Her appointment is seen as key in bringing outstanding FE sector leadership and award-winning knowledge to the board which is focused on helping regional businesses achieve and sustain high growth.

Judith took over leadership of Gateshead College four years ago, driving change and turning it from an institution judged by Ofsted as requiring improvement to one rated as outstanding. It is now being championed as a blue print for the sector by Minister of State for Education and Skills, Robert Halfon following his recent visit to launch the government’s industrial strategy.

Thanks to the improvements made under her leadership, Gateshead College is now ranked third in the country for overall success rates, boasting apprentices which are ten per cent above national benchmarks for their achievements within their chosen course and field.

The college is a significant business in its own right with a £40m turnover and more than 600 staff.

Under Judith’s leadership, the college strives to ensure students develop the skills needed for work and that employers have access to the most highly prized employees in the jobs market.

Judith was named the country’s top FE college leader by judges of the prestigious TES Awards, who referenced her widespread regard amongst college colleagues and the wider North East business community.

She is also a board member of Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, Queen Elizabeth NHS Trust and a member of the CBI’s regional council.

Judith said: “I am delighted to join the Growth Board and welcome the opportunity to work with such a great team of people who all share a passion and drive to help businesses grow and thrive in our region. A strong infrastructure of education, training and skills aligned to the needs of industry is crucial if we are to achieve our collective ambitions.”

Mark Thompson, LEP Business Growth Board Chair, said: “Judith’s nationally renowned knowledge of the FE sector and proven experience of managing a large business will prove to be an invaluable asset to our board.

“She is ideally placed to help us support business growth in so many ways, for example inspiring leaders by supporting, advising and peer mentoring business people looking to grow their company.”

The LEP’s Business Growth Board oversees a programme of activity to create more and better jobs through a dynamic and entrepreneurial economy that enables businesses to scale up, thrive and grow.

This includes the North East Growth Hub, providing access to finance, mentoring support and a Manufacturing Growth Programme.